The suspended chief executive officer (CEO) of Omaruru Municipality, Edward Paul Ganaseb, reportedly raked in close to N$1.9 million in salary payments and allowances since he was suspended on full pay in December 2013.
Ganaseb currently receives a monthly salary of N$36 744 that includes a car allowance of N$9 650, a cellphone allowance of N$600 and a monthly medical aid allowance of N$6 870. Additionally, he lives in rent-free accommodation in a municipal house that he has allegedly refused to vacate since he was suspended on full pay and full benefits.
“All I can tell you now is that there is an ongoing disciplinary hearing regarding that issue. Just contact the acting CEO for further comments,” the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, Nghidinua Daniel advised. He declined to confirm or deny that the suspended CEO pocketed almost N$2 million since his suspension and referred all queries to the acting CEO of Omaruru Andre Plaatjie.
When contacted for comment Plaatjie said he was not at liberty to discuss employees’ salaries with the media, as the information is confidential.
In a related case, New Era reported earlier this year that Maltahohe Village Council spent close to N$1.3 million over the past three years on the salary of its suspended CEO, Eliphas ‘Oupapa’ Shipanga, who was suspended on full pay in March 2013 and earns slightly more than N$36 000 a month, including allowances worth N$6 125, and also benefits from rent-free accommodation in a council house.
While Ganaseb was suspended on allegations of irregularities in the administration of the council, Shipanga was suspended for alleged insubordination and malpractices.
Ganaseb was also arrested in December 2014 for allegedly stealing cattle, valued at N$6 000, from a farmer in the Okombahe communal area of Erongo Region. He separately also faced fraud charges in connection with a case in which he allegedly forged a transport permit.
That case is ongoing in the Omaruru Magistrate’s Court.
In 2015 Ganaseb appeared in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court on fraud and corruption charges, following an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) after it came to light he allegedly misused his authority and approved a claim amounting to N$962 000 in 2012.
As a result, he faces charges ranging from corruptly using his office for gratification to fraud. He is currently out on bail of N$50 000.
President Hage Geingob has in the past expressed concern over the large amounts of money government spends on suspended managing, directors and CEOs, most of whom tend to be on suspension for years on end.
At the time Geingob said government could save a lot of money by cutting public spending and called on the public to come up with ideas to assist government to implement a workable solution to the recurring problem of scores of CEOs and MDs on suspension with full pay and benefits.